People have varying capabilities to focus… to concentrate on the task at hand for a given length of time. I believe my mind has been degraded by the Google effect (if you haven’t read this article, I recommend it). In college, I could concentrate for 10-12 hours at a time. I always felt I had been working for 2 hours and 6 would have flown by.
In the last year or so I realized all this multi-tasking led to an Outlook Task folder filled with uncompleted ToDos. I’m fighting back. I just wanted to let you know.
I didn’t have anywhere else to go with the story except to share this picture of a coffee-swilling Penguin. His name is Starbuck. Named for the coffee-swilling deckhand from Moby Dick. Starbuck’s Coffee is also named after this character. It is important to me that you know this Penguin is not named after Starbucks Coffee.
What does Starbuck the Penguin have to do with today’s newswire? Nothing really except that one of the stories this week mentions penguins. As soon as I read it, Starbuck the Penguin popped inside my head and took up residence. He has been there (inside my head) ever since. So I place him here to see if maybe he will move-on.
I know, I’m weird and I don’t (always) pay attention. You sound like Mrs. Harris, my 3rd grade teacher who banned me from writing in cursive.
This week’s Office news and editorials. My opinions are included for your benefit and amusement.
- SharePoint 15 – What we know thus far? :: I know last week included several versions of the same news regarding Office 15 Tech Preview. Other than that, we don’t know much of anything. But MSFT did release a SharePoint 15 SDK. So there is a some actual info here… along with some speculation to make it fun.
- Get touchy with Office 15 :: The previous item makes mention of Steve Ballmer’s refusal to rule out Metro for Office. Will Office go all-in? or, Will Office go with a conservative/hybrid Metro approach? I’m of the opinion that you can watch what Windows does and know that Office will follow. In this article, Mary Jo Foley opines on the future of the Office UI. I’ll admit, she surprised with some of her info.
- OnLive’s Office on the iPad is mess :: This item should not be a surprise. OnLive provides a remote connection to a virtualized instance of Windows that includes Office 2010. Cool right? Until you realize the limitations of this setup.
- Office 15 Technical Preview… and penguins :: The author was travelling last week when the Office 15 news was announced. This is his thoughtful breakdown of the future of the Office platform. What do penguins have to do with anything? You must click and read in order to find out.
- Will Windows 8 be dead-on-arrival?:: I sure hope not, given how I like to build Office add-ins. I was worried when I saw this article on ZDNet until I noticed it was from their Open Source section. But, despite my differences with the Open Source, they raise some thought-provoking points. It will be fun to watch what happens as events progress. By the way, anytime someone says “too little, too late” in the tech industry just know they are ignoring tech history. Where was AAPL back in 1997? Where is AAPL today? Don’t bet against MSFT.
- Microsoft CRM coming to an iPad near you :: That is assuming you have an iPad and use Microsoft CRM. I have been saying it for awhile now that I believe MSFT will provide an Office version for the iPad. CRM is closely tied to Office. I think this is a done deal. Office 15 for the iPad. Count on it. If I’m wrong, well, it won’t be the first time.
Office tips, tricks & tools
- Outlook is social (and potentially loses all business-related productivity benefits) :: A quick, 1 minute 21 second video explaining the Outlook Social Connector. After last week’s newswire, I decided to install this add-in (again) and give it a chance. It works well but I’m 90% certain I don’t want this data in Outlook. I have enough trouble as it is staying focused. But… I think it is helpful at times. So your mileage will most likely vary.
- Design your own business cards using Microsoft Publisher :: I don’t claim to be a designer but I have designed a business card or two using Publisher. I did it the hard way… by trial and error. This article makes it easy.
- Download the EA Signature Deployment Kit :: MSFT promises this is your one-stop shop for deployment and training needs. At the very least it will be a good start.
- Make you Word documents behave :: This is an excerpt from a book but it is filled with great tips from Word MVP Stephanie Krieger. I own this book and wish I had an eye for document design like hers. She knows her stuff and has authored some great Office-related books.
- Wireframing with PowerPoint! Why not? :: There a lot of great tools specific to designing a good wireframe. I am fond of Balsamiq personally. But… when designers stand up and say, “You know what, this PowerPoint app from Microsoft does a pretty good job with wireframes”, you have to take notice. Designers don’t typically sing the praises of PowerPoint. After reading the article, I am convinced too. You can build a wireframe, provide a modicum of interactivity, and easily share with the client.
Office developer items of note
Office Developers, Office Developers, Office Developers!!! Here are some cool articles I liked over the last few days.
- What is binding and what makes it late? :: This article is not Office specific. But… late-binding is an important part of Office development from time-to-time. Take for example, Andrei’s article regarding supporting several Office versions in an add-in.
- Loading reference data from a SharePoint list using SSIS :: Code? SharePoint Data? SQL Server Integration Services? This article has it all. You’re welcome.
- The “No Code” SharePoint strategy :: After giveing you a trifecta of goodness I drop the ball completely with this lame "no code’" article. But hey, sometimes no-code is just fine with me. I find that no-code solutions pay just as well as code solutions. This article is a challenge. I dare you to try it.
- Export data to Excel (best practices) :: Straight from the great XL Dennis (Excel MVP Dennis Wallentin). Some best practices when using .NET to export to Excel.
- Referencing Outlook field and property names in non-English locales :: I know I have a bias towards English. This is my attempt to make amends… at least partially.
Cutting room floor
Like scenes that didn’t make the movie, these items didn’t really make the newswire… not officially at least. But the are included here as my version of outtakes.
- Enter for a chance to win Office 2010, Kinect and more: Office snow or shine sweepstakes :: You might already be a winner!
- The tools of the software developer :: An Infographic. It’s been a week or two since I have included one.
- A candid Q&A with a MSFT Office 15 Technical Preview customer
- How to change the world